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Posts tagged: string quartet

What I would take through death’s dark door

By , 15/11/2021
This concert, like its predecessor on Friday 12 November, was delayed by the Covid-19 Level 4/3 restrictions in August and September, and was also displaced from the Hunter Council Chamber to St Peter’s Church. The change of venue was positive. Although the NZSQ has never performed in the church before, it is an excellent venue for chamber music, with its warm and rather dry acoustic contributing to a clear... read more

From the Bush to the Ballroom: the NZSQ Plays Music from Aotearoa and Central Europe

This concert was billed as a “Premium Concert Experience,” the kind of language that sets the teeth of a crusty old pedant like me somewhat on edge. It refers in this instance to a format involving tables instead of serried rows of chairs, with drinks and canapés served at the interval, a concept that also struck me initially as rather naff.  However, I ended up enjoying it... read more

New Zealand String Quartet at Lower Hutt – three views of Beethoven

By , 03/06/2021
I remember reading an interview many years ago with one of the great Beethoven interpreters of recent tines, Alfred Brendel, and warming to him all the more when he responded to a question regarding his “hobbies” by listing one of them as “collecting unintentional humour”. Brendel would doubtless have relished the unexpected “cyber-glitches” experienced by violinist Helene Pohl and ‘cellist Rolf Gjelsten relating to their respective electronic page-turners’ charmingly... read more

“….And we shall be changed” – the New Zealand String Quartet’s completion of its 2020 Beethoven journey

By , 25/09/2020
The listings in both the printed programme and the advance publicity suggested that we would get to hear BOTH of the “finales” of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.130  at the culminating concert of the New Zealand String Quartet’s series presenting all of the composer’s String Quartets. TWO finales? Well, after the first performance of Op.130 in 1826, the general critical reaction regarding the original “Grosse Fugue” finale was one of... read more

New Zealand String Quartet triumphantly reaches the heights of Beethoven’s Late Quartets

By , 23/09/2020
Violist Gillian Ansell opened the concert with cheerful and interesting remarks about the significance of Beethoven’s last quartets, written well after the last piano sonatas, the Missa Solemnis, the Choral Symphony, and the Diabelli Variations. Quartet in F, Opus 135 This concert included the last that he wrote, Op 135, and the second, written for his patron Prince Galitzin, Op 132 which contains the remarkable Heiliger Dankgesang. In between was the... read more

Beethoven’s creative “quartet-journey” superbly delineated by the NZSQ at St.John’s in the City, Wellington

By , 19/09/2020
Continuing its “tour” of Wellington venues by way of bringing to us all of Beethoven’s String Quartets during his 250th anniversary year, the New Zealand String Quartet gave the latest instalment of its traversal in the austerely beautiful Willis St. Church of St.John’s in the City. Something about the venue suited the music on this occasion even more than usual, to my mind, the refinement and directness of certain... read more

New Zealand String Quartet’s second Beethoven 250th Anniversary concert

By , 13/09/2020
Though it doesn’t seem to me all that long ago that the NZSQ (well, THREE of the members of the present quartet!) were previously “wowing” us with their brilliant, uniquely engaging interpretations of Beethoven’s most significant and searching set of works, I suddenly felt, amidst the frisson of excitement and intoxication which rippled through the audience at Seatoun’s St.Christopher’s Church during Sunday’s concert, as if we had all actually... read more

Beethoven 250th anniversary: first concert from New Zealand String Quartet

By , 11/09/2020
This was the first of six concerts this month of all 17 of Beethoven's string quartets (17 includes the Grosse Fuge, the original last movement of Op 130). They are being played in largely chronological order of publication, modified a bit to help in the appreciation of Beethoven’s developing genius: for example, here were the first two quartets alongside the first of the Op 59 (Razumovsky) group. While in... read more

Three Beethoven string quartets from brilliant Ébène Quartet: part of their world-wide project

By , 25/10/2019
The concert by the Ébène Quartet was probably the most looked forward to concert of the 2019 Chamber Music New Zealand series, though Middle C this year is not really in a position to make a comprehensive comparison. We missed at least a couple of concerts, including that by the Brodsky Quartet in May. Ébène is a quartet with far more strings to its bows than merely hard-core classical stuff... read more

Kiwa Quartet takes enjoyable, interesting journey through 125 years of quartet repertoire for Wellington Chamber Music

By , 26/05/2019
Listening to string quartet music is a delightful way of spending a Sunday afternoon. We have had the privilege of hearing three excellent string quartets over the last three weeks, the New Zealand String Quartet, the Aroha Quartet, and now the Kiwa Quartet.  It is fortunate for Wellington to have such an abundance of talent around. The Kiwa Quartet was formed in 2015 as part of a project supported by... read more

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